Previewing the Los Angeles Kings' 2013-14 Stanley Cup Final:
Game 2 vs. NY Rangers
June 7, 2014
4pm PST (7pm EST)
They celebrated their first-ever Stanley Cup series-opening game with a thrilling come-from-behind overtime win, but now the Los Angeles Kings hope to pick up another victory over the New York Rangers and head east with a great deal of momentum. But while their Game 1 win showcased their usual resilience, the Kings and their fans hope for a better start than they had on Wednesday night.
It would be fair to suggest that the Los Angeles Kings need a better start in Game 2 should they hope to win, but the reality is that the Kings have found ways to win despite getting off to slow starts this postseason. The silver-and-black have been notorious for being resilient not only this postseason but in years past. With that said, though, they still need to be a bit more cautious once the puck drops on the game's opening faceoff.
Another big key for Los Angeles entering Saturday night will be their special teams. They gave up one shorthanded goal and very nearly a second one on Wednesday in the waning seconds of regulation. While it would be a no-brainer to suggest that the Kings can ill afford to allow any more shorthanded tallies, they must maintain their penalty-killing, which has been a force over the last few games. LAKingsInsider's Jon Rosen (@lakingsinsider) tweeted on June 6 that the Kings are 9-0 this postseason when they don't allow a power play goal. They will look to keep that streak going.
The best player for the Rangers in Game 1 was netminder Henrik Lundqvist who turned away 40 saves en route to the loss. Putting pressure on theSwedish backstop wasn't an issue for the Kings on Wednesday, but they could definitely benefit from a few more scoring opportunities. As for what was going on in the Los Angeles net, Jonathan Quick rebounded after a mediocre start to stop 25 shots en route to his team's win. Both netminders will have to be just as good on Saturday.
Some Kings fans are hoping for another win by their team on Saturday as they want their team to travel to Madison Square Garden with as much momentum as possible. After all, the Kings have never won a playoff game at MSG, going 0-3. Of course, it is notable to mention that the last time the Kings played the Rangers in New York during the playoffs was a 6-3 loss back on April 12, 1981. That was before yours truly was even born. Yes, it is an unpleasant stat but when it dates back over 33 years, it should lose a fair deal of validity. That's what I believe, anyway.
Both teams have had an extra day of rest as they both, along with their respective fanbases, are simply restless for Game 2 to begin.
Can the Kings take a two-game lead or will the Rangers turn this Stanley Cup Final into a best-of-five? We'll see.
Enjoy the game!